Infants & Toddlers  •  Two & Three Year Olds  •  Four & Five Year Olds

For School-Age Children visit The Tree House

Infants and Toddlers

Our infant and toddler programs are unique and are not scaled down versions of good preschool programs. These classrooms invite play, active exploration, and movement. A broad array of stimulating experiences are provided within a reliable framework of routines and protection from excessive stress. Relationships with their teachers and other children are emphasized as an essential contribution to the quality of the children’s experiences. 

2 and 3 Year Olds

Younger preschoolers are supported in their growing independence by affectionate and supportive teachers. Teachers realize that each child’s development is at his or her own rate, so a wide range of age appropriate activities and behaviors are embraced. Children have many opportunities to play by themselves, next to another child and with other children. Young preschoolers are more comfortable in smaller groups, so teachers plan activities in which children can enter and leave the group at will. Children’s friendships are valued and encouraged. There is ample time for outdoor play. Fine motor skills are developed through fun with puzzles, beads, and art projects. Children exploring their environment can exercise their natural curiosity through simple science activities, block, sand and water play. Language development, at a rapid pace during these years, is supported by teachers who listen and who converse with the children throughout the day. Books, finger plays, exposure to music and rhythm - all of these areas are a part of the young preschoolers’ day. Each week’s lesson plans include scheduled time for all of the above components and learning activities are planned around a weekly theme.

4 and 5 Year Olds

The Growing Tree’s older preschoolers’ learning activities are also based on weekly themes. The environment is organized in learning centers. Parents of four and five year olds will receive on-going information throughout the year about what their children are learning at The Growing Tree.

Listed below are the goals and objectives for our preschool children attending The Growing Tree. These goals and objectives are the result of our purpose and philosophy. In the last year before kindergarten, many of these areas of development come together. It is important to remember, however, that every child develops at their individual pace. Successful mastery of these skills does not begin at age 4, but rather from the accumulation of 4 years of experiences, relationships and opportunities to learn and grow.

Socio-Emotional Development

To experience a sense of self-esteem:

    • identify oneself as a member of a specific family 
    • feel proud of one’s heritage and background 
    • demonstrate confidence in one’s growing abilities and independence

To exhibit a positive attitude toward life:

    • demonstrate trust in adults 
    • be able to separate from parents 
    • demonstrate interest and participate in classroom activities and routines4 year old

To demonstrate cooperative, Pro-social behavior:

    • seek out children and adults 
    • understand and respect differences 
    • accept responsibility for maintaining the classroom environment 
    • help others in need 
    • respect the rights of others 
    • share toys and materials 
    • work cooperatively with others 
    • resolve conflicts constructively 

Cognitive Development

To acquire learning and problem-solving skills:

    • demonstrate an interest in exploring 
    • ask and respond to questions 
    • show curiosity and a desire to learn 
    • observe and make discoveries
    • find more than one solution to a problem 
    • use creativity and imagination 
    • persist in tasks

To expand logical thinking skills:

    • classify objects by similarities and differences 
    • learn shapes through the introduction of a different shape each month 
    • put together objects that belong together
    • recall a sequence of events 
    • arrange objects in a series 
    • recognize and repeat patterns 
    • increase awareness of cause-and-effect 

To acquire concepts and information leading to a fuller understanding of the world:

    • demonstrate an awareness of time concepts (yesterday, today) 
    • identify names of objects and events 
    • make comparisons (more/less, larger/smaller) 
    • use words to describe things 
    • identify special relationships (below, inside) 
    • count in sequence and match one-to-one

To demonstrate skill in make-believe:

    • assume pretend roles 
    • make believe with objects and about situations 
    • sustain play 
    • interact with other children 

To expand verbal communication skills:

    • recall words in a song or fingerplay
    • follow simple directions 
    • use words to explain ideas and feelings 
    • talk with other children during daily activities 
    • make up stories 
    • participate in group discussions 
    • to develop beginning reading skills:
    • acquire a love of books 
    • listen to a story and explain what happened 
    • recognize pictures and text on a page 

To acquire beginning writing skills:

    • make increasingly representational drawings
    • recognize letters and numbers through the introduction and practice with games, stories and activities
      (3 letters and 2 numbers each month)
    • recognize written names
    • label pictures 

Physical Development

To enhance gross motor skills:

    • use gross motor skills with confidence 
    • walk up and down steps
    • run with increasing control over direction and speed
    • jump without falling
    • use large muscles for balance
    • catch a ball or bean bag
    • throw an object in the intended direction
    • ride and steer a tricycle
    • climb up or down equipment without falling 

To enhance and refine fine motor skills:

    • coordinate eye and hand movements
    • use small muscles to complete tasks
    • use small muscles for self-help skills
    • use writing and drawing with increasing control and intention 

To use all senses in learning:

    • demonstrate skill in discriminating sounds
    • demonstrate visual discrimination skills
    • discriminate by taste and smell
    • discriminate differences in texture